Nearly any car accident can be a traumatizing experience for the victims. Hit and run accidents, however, carry their own special ‘bite’. They leave injured people in their wake. Georgia law has outlined specific responsibilities and duties for any driver involved in a wreck. Those who fail to obey these laws may be held liable and prosecuted for their actions. If you yourself, or anybody you know, has suffered an injury due to the negligence of another driver, we are here to help. Our car wreck attorneys here at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines, can give you the legal representation you deserve to assert your claims to compensation.
Accidents Classified as Hit and Runs
In Georgia, a hit and run is very serious. It is a crime that is serious enough to result in felony charges. Georgia law requires any driver involved in an accident to stop immediately there at the scene, especially if there is any injury, death, or vehicle damages. Each individual motorist has the duty of providing the other driver with their personal information. That includes names, addresses, and registration numbers. If anyone has serious injuries, the driver must render aid or find help. Usually this results in a call to 911 to request an ambulance and have the injured party transported to a nearby hospital.
Drivers who fail to stop intentionally after an accident are most likely going to face the misdemeanor charge of ‘hit and run‘. However, that depends on whether anyone was injured or died. For the misdemeanor penalty of a hit an run, there is a fine that can be anywhere from $300 to $1,000, and possible jail time for as long as 1 year as well. Anyone who leaves an accident scene that resulted in serious injuries or fatalities, automatically faces felony charges. This can result in a much longer prison sentence.
Hold Negligent Drivers Responsible For Their Actions and Your Injuries
If the police catch a hit and run driver, the victim has the right to file a personal civil suit against them under the negligence theory. This is the type of claim that enables an injured person to pursue monetary compensation for the harm suffered by them.
Negligence is a failure to be responsible behind the wheel, in a manner that results in foreseeable harm coming to another person. In order to assert their right for compensation, victims must establish these elements –
- The accused breached their duty with some form of careless conduct.
- The accused owed the person injured a duty of care.
- The carelessness of the accused caused the accident.
- The victim suffered quantifiable damages due to the accused’s negligence.
In most types of hit and run accidents ‘duty of care’ means that whatever a typical, rational, reasonably prudent person would have done when facing a similar situation.
Because an ordinary motorist would more than likely choose to obey the Georgia laws, and stick around after the accident, the hit and run driver who chose not to do so has fallen short of the standard and has breached their duty.
When injuries have occurred once a defendant has fled, it makes it quite a challenge to be able to prove any causal link between leaving the scene and the causing of harm. However, even in these cases, one may logically assume that any driver who has committed a terrible hit and run might have done it to avoid being caught in some traffic violation or negligent behavior. Seasoned attorneys are able to find the proper links to prosecute your case, regardless of the circumstances.
Have Hit and Run Questions? Contact Our Law Firm in Atlanta, Austell or Gwinnett County GA today!
Depending on the extent and nature of the victim’s injuries, should the victim succeed in their own negligence lawsuit, they can recover damages. These can be in the form of hospital bills, pain and suffering, property damages, rehabilitation costs, future medical expenses, and any additional costs incurred due to the wreck. When a hit and run driver involved, punitive damages can be sought and awarded as well. You may receive compensation over time or in a lump sum. The Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines can make this happen for you.